Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

 

« Who Is the 'Asian Wig Bandit?' | Main | 'Explosive Fire Behavior' Likely Led to Deaths of 19 Ariz. Firefighters »
Tuesday
Jul022013

Tearful Apology at 'Whitey' Bulger Trial Rejected by Victim's Family

Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Rogue FBI supervisor John Morris' voice choked with tears when he wrapped up three days of testimony by apologizing to the family of an innocent man who was shot dead because of a tip he gave to accused mobster James "Whitey" Bulger.

Morris told the court he had alerted his underling, FBI agent John Connolly, who was Bulger's handler, that a Winter Hill Gang thug named Brian "Balloonhead" Halloran was willing to testify.  

Halloran and his neighbor Michael Donahue were leaving a Boston restaurant in May 1982 when they were ambushed, hit with a fusillade of bullets prosecutors said were fired by Bulger.

"If there was ever a day I wanted to scream in court, seeing that crooked fed's tears did it to me,'' Donahue's son, Tommy, told ABC News.  "He can put his apology where the sun don't shine."

Tommy and his brothers, Michael and Shawn, have escorted their mother Patricia to Bulger's trial in connection with murders, drug deals, extortion and weapons used during the decades he allegedly spent running the Boston rackets with the help of crooked FBI agents.  The federal trial is just blocks from the spot where Michael Donahue was murdered leaving Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant.

Morris apologized from the witness stand on Monday to the Donahues.

"I don't ask for your forgiveness, but I do want to express my sincere apology for things that I have done and things that I didn't do,'' Morris told the court.  His eyes watered and his voice shook as he held his gaze steady toward the Donahues.

"Not a day in my life has gone by that I haven't thought about this.  Not a day has gone by that I haven't prayed that God give you blessing and comfort.  I am truly sorry.  I do not ask for your forgiveness.  That's too much," he said.

Morris told the court that he volunteered at a soup kitchen and was a reading buddy for the elderly and blind to help assuage his guilt.

It was too much, Patricia Donahue told ABC News.  

"I hope he lives with a lot of guilt," she said.

"I don't think feeding the homeless is going to make up for getting my husband killed and leaving my boys without a father,'' she added.

The Donahues have attended the trial primarily to get answers about the staggering level of corruption in the Boston FBI office at the time and how far up into the Department of Justice "the coverup" was, Tommy Donahue said.

"Two weeks after my father was killed because of John Morris, two weeks after he got my father killed, he asked Whitey Bulger to buy his girlfriend a plane ticket so he could cheat on his wife,'' Tommy said.  He was referring to testimony that Bulger bought a plane ticket for FBI secretary Deborah Noseworthy, with whom Morris had a longstanding affair.

Morris described asking Connolly to approach Bulger for the plane ticket on the stand.

"I called him and asked if he thought if they... would spring for an airline ticket to bring her to Georgia,'' Morris told the court.  "Sometime well prior to this, John told me, 'These guys really like you.  If there is anything you wanted or needed to just ask.'  So I did."

Tommy was 8 years old and packed for a fishing trip with his dad on May 11, 1982, the day his father never came home.  Weeks after Michael Donahue vanished, his mother famously stormed into a South Boston barroom to confront Bulger saying, "Where is my husband?"

Bulger told her Michael was probably in "Canada…robbing banks," she said.

It was only when Bulger sidekick Kevin Weeks decided to cooperate with investigators that Patricia Donahue learned the truth -- that the FBI tipped the Winter Hill Gang to Halloran's cooperation.  Her husband had simply given the wrong neighbor a ride home.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio